If companies want to be successful, they shouldn’t rely on good managers. In the management area, good is not good enough. Anyone who is satisfied with it is also only doing business satisfactorily. To really get ahead, you need excellent managers. Because they manage to double company profits.
Studies by the US leadership researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman show a direct connection between leadership quality and corporate profit. They have evaluated more than 50,000 management evaluations and found, among other things: exceptional managers – according to the studies they make up ten percent of managers – have a very significant impact on net company profits. Because they generate a profit that is more than double the average profit of the remaining 90 percent. That means: exceptional managers generate much more economic success than good managers.
This raises the question of who is considered an exceptionally good manager? In fact, Zenger and Folkman’s research has made it possible to see how such an excellent leader “ticks”. As a result, 16 competencies are decisive, which in turn can be assigned to the following five behavior categories:
interpersonal skills as well
The relationship between behaviors and performance may not always be apparent at first glance, but it is critical. Example of results orientation: A manager who focuses on results and sets goals – be it in terms of content or in leadership – learns that this focus pays off. The employees who also observe these improvements then follow the example of their manager. The result orientation of the manager creates a positive momentum.
The change initiative is also a behavior that promises long-term success for the company and its employees. It is a prerequisite for the company to keep up with the times and thus to maintain its competitive advantage. In today’s agile corporate world, it is important to react to changes and thus to be flexible. Anyone who initiates changes on their own is at the forefront as a doer.
Another observation is: Honest and honest executives are popular, for which the employees make an effort. These bosses don’t preach anything they don’t take to heart. They also stand for promises and promises. And they easily gain the trust of others by doing “the right thing” in their sense. They pay attention to ethical principles and show moral stability even in difficult situations. With all of this, they create one thing above all: a trusting atmosphere in the company. And this is exactly what usually increases the willingness of employees to perform.
The same applies to interpersonal skills or interpersonal skills: Exceptionally good managers motivate their employees to increase their commitment and commitment and create a feeling of belonging – by communicating in a powerful language, responding to their employees and encouraging them. They give them responsibility and trust that the employees “do it right”. All of this does not stem from a hierarchical management style.
Exceptional managers can communicate well on an equal footing, they are not too good for teamwork. They see themselves more as a coach than as a manager of their employees, and they manage to build good relationships. These are also characteristics that are once again important as the agile way of working progresses, which gives employees more scope for acting independently. The ability to build relationships also helps when dealing with customers and business partners as well as networking.
But even excellent managers are only people – and not perfect. So there will probably be no manager who has each of the 16 key competencies. It is also not necessary, because what matters is the level of competence: Those who are outstanding in some of the key areas have what it takes to be an excellent manager. Steve Jobs, for example, was very controversial in social dealings. But the Apple founder was so outstanding in terms of staging, visionary thinking and creativity that these strengths completely masked his mistakes.
Steve Jobs also had a key competence that was crucial for leadership: he knew how to inspire others and motivate them to perform at their best. His success was largely based on this ability, which according to Zenger and Folkman’s studies is virtually indispensable for excellent leadership. In the United States, this competency is rated as the most important skill that a manager should have, and in this country it is also among the top three in the rating of the most important competencies.
Managers who understand how to inspire and motivate others are vision-driven: They convey a great goal to their employees and thus help everyone to look in the same direction. They also generally have a positive attitude towards their employees. They trust them, trust them, believe that they will be successful. This means that they can delegate well and have their employees do it without having to check.
On the other hand, inspiring managers also know that they have a role model function. They are aware that human behavior is shaped by feelings and that feelings can be transferred. They use this both in personal dealings with employees and in public appearances, when they represent the company externally and when networking. Excellent managers are always relationship managers. However, German leaders still have a lot to learn here: According to the studies by Zenger and Folkman, when it comes to the ability to inspire and motivate others, they underperform compared to managers from other countries.